27 January 2015
ICA: Covino/ Jolliffe
Rhetoric, is difficult. Defining rhetoric is difficult, discussing rhetoric is difficult; even within the first page of the reading, Covino and Jolliffe state that they “Try to build a big picture of what rhetoric is (and what it’s about) as a way of trying to give the most complete picture” (Covino and Jolliffe 325) I chose to take this quote from the early portion of the reading because two times they use the word try/ trying. When you are TRYING to accomplish something, you might not always succeed at it. I relate this to the reading because while Covino and Jolliffe give the best possible rendition of what rhetoric truly is, it is still a concept in which there are more and more angles to define it from. Rhetoric… is… difficult. The overarching question of this reading is, what is Rhetoric? Covino and Jolliffe attempt to define rhetoric in several directions, as it relates to the rhetor, rhetoricians author, and audience and etc. audience. As far as who this reading is attempting to reach, I have come to the conclusion the main audience would be students just being introduced to the word rhetoric. However, through this reading Covino and Jolliffe have made it apparent that rhetoric is consistently relevant in everyday lives. Without being too cliché, this reading applies to all who read and write; and in other words, this readings audience encompasses most human beings. In simplest terms, Covino and Jolliffe argue that rhetoric is not just a content, rather it is a grasped concept after receiving content.
As stated previously rhetoric is a broad term, what makes it so broad is that it involves the shaping of your own thoughts, ideas, and interpretations. The reading then goes on to say that rhetoric is, “studying how people get fooled” (327) Fooled into what you ask? Fooled Into believing whatever is being heard, shown, portrayed etc. It is the idea of changing someone’s mind to believe in the same concept. After just reading Backpacks vs. Briefcases: Steps toward Rhetorical Analysis by Laura Bolin Carroll, I have made a few connections in attempts to better define rhetoric. In the beginning of the Carroll reading, titled First Impressions, we are…